For very young children, Christmas is little more than presents, lights, decorations, Santa, and sometimes a few churchy things. As we grow up, those of us who are Christians have to reconcile the birth of the Savior with wreaths, bulbs, and a consumer frenzy which has become downright deadly, albeit very stimulating to our consumer-driven economy. Even those who are not Christians enjoy the same merriment and new classic tales about reindeers with lit noses or elves on shelves without nativity scenes in their décor.
Here are five excerpts from the Bible which all of us can benefit from during the Christmas holiday:
1) Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
We hear the typical passages from Mark and Luke throughout the Christmas season, but this is a reminder that the Hebrew Bible predicted the birth of Christ long before it happened. It is a sign that He is faithful to us and has a plan for humanity.
2) Mark 12:31: "The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."
Very simply – to live in a society, we must have compassion and respect for all individuals. This includes not only our families, friends, and neighbors, but everyone, whether they agree with us not. Our lives are interdependent and the interaction between us is vital.
3) Luke 6:38: "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Each act of love and kindness does not go unnoticed. With all the running around to find the perfect Christmas gifts for our friends, relatives, co-workers, and other acquaintances, we probably make more of an impact in our everyday actions. The more we can share the positivity, the more pleasant our surroundings will be.
4) 1 Corinthians 13:11: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."
This verse invites us to use a more mature perspective that we did in our youth. In our view of this season and on a larger scale, we must take advantage of our education, experience, and ability to reason instead of merely acquiescing to tradition.
5) Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
When the objective is glory, peace, and the miracle birth of our savior, admonishing someone for saying “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” seems pretty incongruous. Our rejoicing and merriment shouldn’t rely upon others. For those of us who have lost our spouses, children, or other loved ones, this is a very mournful time. This passage encourages us to show sympathy and empathy for others who may not have the same enthusiasm we do.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace to ALL!